Organized under the patronage of H.E. Abdul Rahman Al Owais, UAE Minister of Health, the Fifth National Pharmacovigilance Conference has begun in continuation to the efforts for the ‘Integration Initiative’ launched in September 2014.
One of the key aims of the long-term partnership program between the UAE Ministry of Health (MOH) and Sanofi is to enhance the pharmacovigilance infrastructure through developing pharmacists’ skills, efficiency and performance in alignment with the unified healthcare strategy.
Strategic Partnerships with Global Pharmaceuticals
Upholding their commitment towards building a robust pharmacovigilance (PV) environment in UAE which prioritizes patient safety, the Public Health Policy & Licensing Sector – Drug Department of Ministry of Health and Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, commenced the Fifth National Pharmacovigilance Conference themed ‘Excellence in Pharmacovigilance’.
Local and Regional Participation in the Conference
The two-day conference will see national level participation from over 200 pharmacists from the United Arab Emirates and Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Also participating are professionals involved in regulatory affairs as well as drug safety officers, National PV Committee members from UAE, researchers and academicians from the UAE and various countries.
New Concepts in Pharmacovigilance
At the conference, renowned experts from the industry and government will share their experiences and educate the attendees on the execution of the ‘New Arab PV Guidelines’, understanding the global system of pharmacovigilance, integrating drug safety monitoring in the loop of drug regulators, process of signal detection, risk management and drug safety, leading towards strengthening the environment which can ensure the safety of patients in UAE and regional countries. Participants will also learn about pharmacovigilance requirements for biologicals and biosimilars, safety communication on social media, and capacity building practices for pharmacists.
Pivotal Role Played by Pharmacists in Drug Safety
“Pharmacists play a pivotal role in ensuring the health and well-being of people as they are often the most common point of contact for patients. In addition to their responsibilities regarding drug dispensing and compliance, they can play a substantial role in adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting. Pharmacists contribute to monitoring the ongoing safety of medicines and more widely in pharmacovigilance.
Therefore they need to be up-to-date on good clinical practices, clinical standards, and drug safety guidelines. This is an excellent opportunity for pharmacists and PV professionals to gain in-depth perspective on the latest developments in the domain of pharmacovigilance. In an ever increasing global pharmaceutical market, collaboration between medicines’ regulators and pharmaceutical companies is key to ensuring the health and safety of all our citizens,” said His Excellency Dr. Amin Hussein Al-Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing in the Ministry of Health.
Participation of Professionals from WHO, Middle East and France
Professionals will have the chance to attend four insightful sessions on day one of the conference. The second day will be dedicated to interactive workshops tackling the practical aspects of pharmacovigilance such as different methods for causality assessment, risk management plans for biosimilars and additional PV monitoring for new molecules.
The Conference as a Model for Strengthening Public Private Partnerships
“At Sanofi, we are delighted to extend our partnership with the MOH for the Fifth National Pharmacovigilance Conference. With a focus on safeguarding the health and safety of people in UAE, we aim to empower pharmacists by equipping them with the highest standards of skill and expertise, and also achieve our objective of furthering medical education and driving scientific innovation. Our endeavor is to support the government’s health strategy of benchmarking worldwide best practices in healthcare,” said Ayman Mokhtar, General Manager at Sanofi Gulf.
The World Health Organization defines pharmacovigilance as science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects or any other drug-related problem.
Visible Growth in the Pharmaceutical Industry
With the pharmaceutical industry’s growth and scientific advancement in the last few decades, the significance of pharmacovigilance has increased manifold. Safety and efficacy of drugs are the two major concerns for drug regulators globally. Pharmacovigilance therefore involves proactive monitoring and reporting on the quality, safety and efficacy of drugs, assessment of the risks and benefits of marketed medicines, monitoring the impact of any corrective actions taken and providing information to consumers, practitioners and regulators on the effective use of drugs.